Manchester Airport has welcomed its first direct flight from Jeddah for over five years, as Saudia’s inaugural flight touched down at Terminal Two.
The new route, which will operate three times a week, will be a great asset to businesses in the region and Saudi Arabia, plus it will also be incredibly beneficial to Greater Manchester’s Muslim community during festivals such as Hajj.
The inaugural flight was met with a customary welcome including a cake, balloons and flowers, with the first passengers given a complimentary upgrade.
Welcome speeches were undertaken by Manchester Airports Group chief executive Charlie Cornish and Saudia’s general manager of passenger sales and services Europe, Rashid Alajmi.
Cornish said: “It is not only great news for Manchester Airport to welcome Saudia back, but for the entire region.
“The introduction of their new three weekly Jeddah route will further strengthen connections from Manchester to the Middle East and sees another direct long haul service added to our ever increasing network of routes.
“This new route, which hasn’t been served for over five years, is testament to the strength of Manchester Airport’s catchment area, which includes over 24 million people.
“We look forward to this direct service supporting the strong commercial, ethnic and educational relationships that exist between Saudi Arabia and the North West.”
Saudia is the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia and offers a luxurious product with three cabin classes, including two pieces hold luggage totalling 46kg, a seat pitch of 32” plus complimentary soft drinks, snacks and extensive in-seat entertainment.
Saudia last operated from Manchester Airport in 2007 and the new Jeddah route is expected to attract a range of leisure and business passengers.
The flights will depart from Manchester Airport’s Terminal two on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Saudia plans to increase the frequency by the end of 2014.